21:38 PM

To close or not to close.

How Mohawk decides when to close the college due to weather.

Temperatures are falling and so is the snow. With winter's arrival comes the possibility of campus closures due to threatening weather. It’s important to become familiar with Mohawk College’s procedures for closing the college and to know where to go for the latest news and information.

Mohawk College has more than 30,000 full, part-time and apprenticeship students and about 2,000 employees at the college’s three campuses and various locations throughout Hamilton. Closing a campus or the entire college is a not a decision the college takes lightly. Classes need to be made up, tests and exams may need to be rescheduled and events may need to be cancelled.

At Mohawk College, the decision to close is guided by the college’s policies and procedures for emergency closures. The college’s facilities and security teams will make the best decision based on the information available at the time.

“We only close the college when remaining open would pose a danger to students and employees while on campus or would prevent a large number of them from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes,” said Alison Horton, Vice President, Corporate Services at Mohawk College. “When we do decide to close, the decision is made with input from several people and includes considerations such as the ability to clear campus walkways, roads and parking lots, the conditions of the roads in and around Hamilton and the availability of public transit.”

If it looks like the college will need to close, the goal is to make the closure announcement not later than 6 a.m. that morning. When the college needs to close part way through the day, every effort is made to announce the closure by 3 p.m. to allow enough time to notify Continuing Education students and instructors.

No matter what the college decides, it is important for students and employees to make their own assessment about whether it’s safe to come to campus or not. The college encourages faculty and employee managers to consider the weather conditions when someone chooses to stay home, recognizing that some people may be traveling from locations that are receiving more snow than the area around the college.

The best way to learn about closures is to sign up for Mohawk’s SAM (Security Alert Messenger) service. SAM uses text messages, social media, the college website, email and local media to quickly inform students and employees that the college is closed. SAM is also used for Lockdowns and other emergencies that require rapid communication with the college community.

Students and employees are also encouraged to make themselves familiar with Mohawk’s College’s Campus/College Emergency Closure Procedure ERP803